[WWI] Reposted from Hyperscale
dave.fleming at dial.pipex.com
Mon Aug 23 11:40:05 EDT 2004
Bodies of WWI Soldiers Found in Glacier
ROME August 23 (Reuters) - The bodies of three Austrian soldiers killed in
World War One have been found frozen and almost perfectly preserved in an
Italian Alpine glacier.
Mountain rescue worker Maurizio Vicenzi discovered the mummified bodies on
Friday, encased upside down in ice at 11,940 feet altitude on San Matteo
mountain near the Swiss and Austrian borders.
"Using binoculars, I saw what looked like a stain on the Forni glacier and
went to look," Vicenzi, 46, from the northern Italian town of Peio told
Reuters on Monday.
"When I got close I discovered they were the bodies of soldiers frozen in the
glacier. Nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime. Bodies haven't
been found in the ice around here for decades," he said.
Vicenzi's fellow rescue workers helped him remove the bodies on Sunday and
transfer them to the Peio morgue by helicopter.
The soldiers' uniforms were mostly intact including leather belts, a gas mask
and a cap with a star on it.
Historians are already studying Vicenzi's find and believe the men died during
a battle on Sept. 3, 1918, probably killed by a grenade. Italian and Austrian
troops clashed in the mountains on that date in what has been called "the
great battle." The Austrians won but 11 soldiers were killed.
Among the relics left in Italy by World War One Austrian troops was a series
of tunnels buried deep within the Marmolada glacier known as the "City of Ice"
that largely disappeared during a heatwave last year.
"This is an important discovery from a historical point of view, and exciting
for the communities on both sides of the border," said Vicenzi, who is also an
A funeral will be held on Tuesday afternoon and the soldiers will be laid to
rest in the local military cemetery 86 years after they died.
More information about the WWI